Set it to stun

A laser weapon developed by US Air Force Research Laboratory employees at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM, will be the first non-lethal deterrent intended for protecting troops and controlling hostile crowds.

The weapon, the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHaSR), which was developed by the laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate, employs a two-wavelength laser system. The laser light temporarily impairs aggressors by illuminating or “dazzling” individuals, removing their ability to see the laser source.

Historically, systems such as PHaSR have been too powerful at close ranges and ineffective but eye-safe at long ranges.

Capt. Drew F. Goettler, of the Air Force Research Laboratory’ Directed Energy Directorate, demonstrates the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response, or PHaSR.

The first two prototypes of the PHaS have been built at Kirtland and delivered to the laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks City Base, TX and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at Quantico, VA for testing.

The next prototype, which will include an eye-safe range finder, is planned for completion in March 2006.